Part 2 – How to prepare for your MBA entrance Personal Interview?

Dear Readers,

In part 1 of this article, we have already looked at some question
types that appear in interviews commonly. 

Let us now look at some more question types.

Core questions (strengths and weaknesses):

What are your strengths/weaknesses, name three strengths/weaknesses
that you have, give some examples (describe three instances) where your
strengths/weaknesses helped/harmed you, why should we select you, why should we
reject you, etc.

This is another common set of questions
and these questions can be asked in a variety of ways. Questions like why
should we select/reject you, how are you better than other candidates, etc. are
in fact only asking you to spell out your strengths/weaknesses. To prepare for
these questions, start with some introspection so that you are able to identify
your attributes/qualities (both strengths and weaknesses). You can ask your
friends, parents, teachers, etc. to help you in this task by pointing out some
qualities in you that they have observed. After listing out these qualities,
you should also connect some of these qualities to various instances/events in
your life which you feel highlight/reflect these qualities. This will complete
your preparation for such questions.  

Academic Questions

Irrespective of whether you have
no work experience or have several years’ work-ex, you may be asked questions
related to the subjects that you studied during your graduation. To prepare for
these questions, brush up on at least 2 to 3 of your favourite subjects from
your graduation. Even if the panel asks you questions from a different subject,
you can at least try to guide them towards your favourite subjects. Also, make
it a point to brush up on your academic projects, internships, etc. Questions
related to these are quite common.

While facing questions related to
academics, do not give answers like “I studied this 3 years ago and hence, have
forgotten it by now”. Such answers may lead to harsh cross-questioning and
questions like “Why should we select you in that case since whatever you learn
in your MBA will be forgotten soon”.

Work-experience related questions

Questions related to your work
experience can be quite diverse. The panel may want to know about your role/job
profile and how it related to the firm’s business. Additionally, you may be
asked about facts and figures related to your previous company – its Profit and
Loss figures, target markets, products, competitors, policy changes affecting
it, etc. You may also be asked to rank your company on certain parameters; you
may be asked to list some of the problems/challenges that it faced. You may be
asked to spell out similar details regarding the companies’ competitors. Such
questions test your knowledge of your company and its business, its industry,
etc.

To prepare for these questions,
you may need to talk to your seniors at your company, visit the company’s
website, etc. This effort will ensure that you are ready with all of the relevant
information.

Current Affairs or GK-based questions

Questions on current affairs/general
knowledge can be crucial in an interview because they reflect the candidate’s knowledge/awareness
about the world. All you need to do to tackle these questions is cultivate a
habit of reading. Whether you prefer newspapers, magazines or internet, do ensure
that you are updated about the latest developments. Since you are appearing for
an MBA interview, you must ensure that you are aware of the latest news
regarding business and finance. Read up on editorials and other stories about
current trends in industry.

Apart from this, if you have
mentioned any specific interest in your profile, you must be prepared for
questions related to it. For instance, if you mention cricket as a
hobby/interest, you may be asked about latest developments matches/series,
results, team selections, player statistics, controversies, etc. If you mention
music as an area of interest, you may be asked about your favourite genre,
singer, composer, band, album (and their details), etc. Such questions will generally
depend on your profile; so, be prepared with facts and figures related to the
areas that you mention for your hobby/interest.

Personal Questions (about your family or city, etc.)

These are questions which revolve
around the personal aspects of candidates. Here, you may be asked things like
“what are the popular sight-seeing spots in your city?”, “what is special about
the local cuisine in your city/area/state?” and other questions about
architecture, industries, handicraft, etc. If you have moved a lot, you may be
asked to compare the different cultures, the different towns, etc. (For such
questions, it is generally advisable to not be too negative about any culture,
place, etc.) Other possible questions can be based on your school/college. If
you are an alumnus of a renowned school or college, then you can certainly
expect questions about them.

The main objective of this type
of questions is to check a candidate’s awareness level. To prepare for these,
list out the institutions, places, etc. that are relevant to your profile.
After this, work on your knowledge/awareness about these.

Random Questions

In rare cases, you may get some
completely unexpected questions. Some questions that have been asked in the
past are “Tell me five improvements you can make in this table”, “Compare
yourself with this glass of water”, “While coming to this room, how many steps did
you take on the staircase”, “what would you do if you were the Prime Minister
for one day” or “would you rather be passionate or analytical”.

The primary motive behind such
questions is to test how you handle yourself in an unexpected situation. Such
questions do not have any one correct answer; rather, your success in tackling
such questions depends on how composed and rational you are while answering
them. So, just ensure that you remain calm, pleasant and logical while
answering such questions.

Finally, you are prepared!

These are the general/common
areas from which you can expect questions in your interview. Work on the areas
mentioned above, follow the steps given and you will definitely ace your
interviews.

All the Best!

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